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Creative Ideas for Boosting Employee Development

hr best practices hr department hr essentials hr for small business hr leadership hr management team management Oct 10, 2022

Building a strong team of employees in your business is much more than just finding the right workers. After recruiting and hiring top talent, a company should always be looking for ways employees can grow and develop their skills within the organization.  Not only because it will grow your business, it is what employees say growth one of the top reasons they stay at an organization. 

Employee development doesn’t always have to be about sending people to a conference or seminar.  You may be in the crowd that doesn't have the budget and it is not always the best way to learn. We’ve curated this list of creative ideas, which will help you think outside of the box when it comes to employee development so you can work towards building a stronger workforce.

Boosting Employee Development within Current Job

An employee may excel at the tasks they are currently handling, but is not pushing them to the next level. Doing the same thing day in and day out can make workers complacent, bored and quickly looking for new opportunities. Data is clear – they want to be prepared for bigger roles in your organization. Spice up employee routines and encourage development with some of these creative ideas:

  1. Give them new responsibilities within their current position that allows them to learn new things.
  2. Increase the span of control, allowing them to take charge of more aspects of projects and assignments.
  3. Expose them to other functions and roles within the organization so they understand how different departments interact.
  4. Ask them to participate in special projects.
  5. Give them a stretch project assignment where they are asked to think and work outside of their normal area.
  6. Assigning them to an organization-wide committee or asking them to lead a special team or a special project.
  7. Increasing their visibility to senior management.

Boosting Employee Development through Self Directed Actions

It is important that employees take ownership of their own development. You can, however, encourage workers to take action by suggesting some self-directed activities such as:

  1. Reading materials that broaden their skills within and outside of their current position.
  2. Exploring research articles related to your company’s industry and market.
  3. Joining professional networks or online communities in order to connect with others in similar businesses and positions.
  4. Signing up for an online course or webinar to expand knowledge.

Boosting Employee Development through External Experiences

Learning should never be restricted to the office. There are plenty of creative development ideas when you look externally, including:

  1. Participating in community activities.
  2. Engaging in external networking at local or online meetings of like-minded professionals, including mastermind groups
  3. Joining a professional organization related to their job or your industry.
  4. Speaking at various events.

Boosting Employee Development through Individualized Feedback

Employee development and growth requires reflection just as much as it does action-based training. Some methods of individualized feedback include:

  1. Individual assessments that explore personality, interests, and strengths, which can help you understand who the worker is and where they will fit best in your organization.
  2. 360 feedback, where employees receive confidential feedback about their performance from co-workers, managers, and executives so they can identify and work on their strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Individual coaching from someone inside or outside of the organization.
  4. Structured mentoring where the employee meets regularly with another seasoned employee who can provide support and feedback.

Boosting Employee Development through Traditional Training Methods

Although they should not be the sole source of employee development, we had to include some of the more traditional training methods such as attending learning events. This can include:

  1. Enrolling in training programs aimed at developing a particular skill or knowledge in a specific area.
  2. Signing up for a career development course to prepare the employee for the next step up the ladder.
  3. Attending seminars, workshops or conferences.
  4. Expanding knowledge through online education or joining a certification program.

Successful employee development requires companies to think outside the box when designing development options for workers. Although traditional training is a part of it, it should not be exclusively about what one-day seminar we can identify for our employees.

When employee development provides a variety of experiences, it allows employees to internalize their training and accelerate their growth. The best part about these creative ideas is that you can bring them into your organization right away with little cost.

Here is a quick video of my thoughts on the importance of going outside the box when it comes to employee development.

Thanks for reading!

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